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Hydra Trail 270 29in Boost Wheelset
If you're one for following trends in the industry, chances are you've already gotten some of the low-down on Industry Nine's new Hydra hubs, but chances are you haven't yet had the opportunity to saddle yourself up with a pair. Fortunately for you, the wait is over, and we're stoked to spread the hype with Industry Nine's new Hydra Trail 270 29in Boost Wheelset. These steamrolling hoops combine the classic Trail rim we know and love with I9's new Hydra freehub that offers some intensely quick actuation. We could say they telepathically communicate with you to transfer power to the trail before you even know that you put it out, but that would be taking away credit from the meticulous engineers in Asheville, NC, who spent two-and-a-half years tinkering with this hub to dial in near-instantaneous 0.52-degree engagement, for the snappiest wheelset we've ever laid our hands on.
The Hydra hubs build on Industry Nine's previous drive system, which is pretty easy to spot if you take a peek at the internals. You'll spot a similar pawl layout that we've seen before in the Torch, and the same pristine CNC machining coming straight from Asheville, North Carolina. Like the old Torch hub, the Hydra features a 6 pawl design, but the drive ring amps things up to a 115-tooth drive ring, as opposed to the 60-tooth used in the Torch, crating a whopping 690 points of engagement, blowing the 120 points of engagement of the Torch out of the water. These 690 points of contact translate directly to the snappiest hubs we've ever seen, with only 0.52-degrees of engagement, propelling you forward just about the instant you put any power down. Furthermore, the engineers opted to keep things simple for those of us who tinker on our bikes at home, making the hub fully serviceable without any proprietary tools.
For your all-mountain endeavors, I9 laces up the Hydra hub with its Trail 270 rims to make this slick set of hoops. I9's Trail rims remain the same as we saw in combination with the Torch in years past. Stiff and reliable aluminum construction, moderately wide 27-millimeter internals, and a profile optimized to hold up to hits on the trail make these rims ideal for just about any wagon-wheel riding application you can throw their way. They come available in either the ultra-stiff 32-spoke option, ideal for riders who want impeccable tracking, or who weigh a little more, as well as a 24-spoke variety for lighter riders who covet a more compliant wheel. Both options lace up with I9's direct-thread straight-pull spokes that thread directly into the hubshell for a solid, flex-free junction that stays reliable on the trail.
- I9 takes the snappy Hydra hub to quick-rolling Trail hoops
- Moderate width rims reduce rolling resistance for speed
- Hydra hub offers 690 POE and 0.52-degrees of engagement
- Premium alloy construction outlasts time itself
- Direct-thread straight-pull spokes lace up for stiff power
- 32-and-24 spoke options offer stiffness or compliance
- 27mm internal width accommodates 2.2-to-2.5in tires
- Machined for precision in Asheville, North Carolina
- Item #NIN004B
- Q & A
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
Industry Nine is one of my favorite companies. If you're building a bike, I think that you should invest more in the wheels than anything else. Even if you ride the stiffest frame in the world, noodly wheels can grenade your bike's ride quality and handling. Rotating weight is also far more significant than static weight. (Don't ask me why, I just know that it is.) This is what makes carbon wheels so attractive. The obvious issue with carbon wheels is that they're pricy. If you have the means to spend a couple of thousand bucks on wheels, do it! I'd highly recommend Santa Cruz's Reserve collection. That said, if you don't want to star in "Honey I sold the kids," and you have to make take some steps to keep the price of your bike in check, a high-quality alloy wheelset is the ticket. Industry Nine absolutely rules the high-end alloy market. Their wheels are hand-made in North Carolina around their phenomenal Hydra hubs. These are the smartest wheels that you can buy for your trail bike, full stop.
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